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Complaining, Crabbing,Caterwauling...

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One Hell of a HAMLET
My patch of London was quite fortunate, storm-wise Yeah, it was very windy, but no more than most of last winter/spring. Just a couple of miles down the road, though, there were bendy cranes in Whitehall, and the rather endearing giant beach ball on the rampage in Old Street...
So, I was able to get up to Venn Street without too much fear of falling trees and stuff, to see the NT HAMLET screening.
There were about fifty people there. I noticed from my back row perch, that at least forty-five of the heads in front of me were Grey Like Mine (Sigh).
I don't know if there was a technical problem, or something, but they kept running a slide show of rehearsal photos, NT facts, and Comming Attractions over and OVER for about half an hour before the show actually started and THEN there was a documentary featurette, which was interesting, at least... I could get into attending these things, even at £11 a pop, if they had more in the daytime. I'd really like to see the FRANKENSTEINs, and the engaging  Tom (Loki) Huddleston, who was so good as Hal/Henry V in THE HOLLOW CROWN is doing Coriolanus in January. After today, I really need to see young Mr Kinnear's Iago, too, and with Adrian Lester as Othello, it ought to be quite as brainbusting as helenraven recently assured me.
Anyway Nicholas Hytner's almost full-length production was a knockout. It was set in a contempoary police state, which I hadn't been quite sure about, but it worked perfectly. The whole cast was absolutely commitedly convincing, except for Giles Terera's rather uninvolved, learned-by rote-sounding Horatio, but even he seemed into it, by the end. ( I must say the duel scene, less balletic than usual, was actually quite alarming, with freaked-out courtiers running around hysterically, etc.) The Ghost,  (James Laurenson) although not 'scary', was rivetingly intense.
Rory Kinnnear was quite as fantabulosa as I'd been anticipating. He reminds me a bit of another fave obsession, Kevin Spacey. Although fairly unprepossessing to look at (balding, squidgily 'ordinary' features-) he can have you totally mesmerised with his uncanny emotional expressiveness and intelligence.
I reckon I've seen fifteen Hamlets on stage and screen, and Kinnear is now my number two favourite. (I still like the gorgeous Innokenti Smoktunovsky in the Russian version  best-)
I was so emotionally wrung out, I could barely stand up and wobble to the bus stop. Oh, I have to say it is also still such a rush for me to go into a theatre and sit down comfortably without being slowly sawed in half by the chair arms. A year or so ago, sitting through a show that long would have been agonising. Heh. Theatre chairs should be wider, dammit! Not everyone gets the chance to lose a big wodge  of deathfat.


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I didn't realise they have the NT Live films in London too! I assumed they were only for us culture-starved colonials and if you were in London you were expected to troop along to the NT. I've seen Frankenstein (Cumberbuns as the doctor) which was excellent, and am going to see Othello tomorrow. I'd love to see Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanius, as he is adorable as well as being no slouch in the acting department.

Ohh, have a good time. OTHELLO sounds really terrific. I'd like to hear your opinion. Most of these things sell out immediately at the NT, so they can get lots of extra screening cash from Londoners who couldn't get in/have less money, etc.

I can report Othello was a stunner. Both Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear were outstanding, and they set it in a vaguely Iraq/Afghanistanish military camp, whch makes tons of sense when you consider how easily Othello falls for Iago's spin - there's a trust there you wouldn't get in a non-military relationship.

Macbeth is next for us - I wasn't going to bother as I've seen so many, but Othello was so good I realised I'd be an idiot to miss it, especially as I'm always banging on about how much I miss the NT. All the benefits of London without the stabbings on the street we used to get in Surrey Quays:). And the price is a steal too - it costs us about the same as it does you, which is expensive for a film but a fraction of an NT ticket. Big ups to whoever thought of doing these, because they're brilliant. Do you get the Met Live productions too, or do you get enough live opera not to bother? My mother's seen a couple of Ring operas that way, but I'm not convinced a cinema's sound system is up to it.

You've seen 15 Hamlets? Wow! I hope they show that Rory Kinnear one again, as it sounds outstanding. That's a very good drawing of him, also.

I'm going to see one of the Danny Boyle Frankensteins on Thursday. I think it's the one with Cumberbatch as the creature. I will report next week at the Magic Flute.

Ohh, Clapham Picturehouse is showing a matineee screening on 11 Nov, with him as the doctor, and I'll probably lash out...He's made for that part, of course, which would make his take on the Creature, possibly even more interesting. That would involve hobbling around the back streets of Clapham at night, though, and I probably won't...Interested to hear what you make of it, though.
Yes, do see the HAMLET if you can, I'm still buzzing on it.

I haven't seen any screened operas yet, altough I do fancy 'em. It's money and walking home at night that deter me. Must try, though, at some point. I've only seen SICILIAN VESPERS once in my life, about 30 years ago...
Glad you enjoyed OTHELLO. To my horror, I've just realised I MISSED the repeat. Bum! Hope it pops up again.

I feel the same about Hamlet - still on my post-Othello high am hoping for a repeat. The NT shows at the cinema I go to show mostly during the day - I guess they think you have to be retired to like Quality Thee-ate-are.

Dunno how much the Met ones are here, but no doubt not cheap. They do have an amazing range on though - I'm no expert at opera, but they have ones I've never even heard of. The Nose????

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